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Meet Dawn

LinkedIn Learning Instructor
2021 TEDx Jacksonville Speaker

Prosci® Certified Change Management Practitioner
Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor

Dr. Dawn Emerick is a hurt and recovering executive, a LinkedIn instructor, and a TEDx speaker. 


If you've been following Dr. Emerick's journey, you would know she doesn't sugar coat or side-step how her own unresolved collective trauma and her lack of self awareness contributed to how she showed up as an executive leader, as a peer, as a friend, and as a mother. She owns her story and helps leaders do the same. There is nothing more powerful than learning from and sharing space with people with these authentic lived, learned and recovery experiences, stories of massive errors, growth, and self-awareness, with professional application and outcomes. This journey of becoming more trauma aware and informed has fundamentally changed the way she approaches relationships, leadership roles, and strategic planning, change management and workforce engagement efforts.


Dawn is motivated as hell to start a new leadership paradigm today, right now. A paradigm that starts with creating 1M Trauma-Informed Leaders in America by 2031.

Over a span of 30 years, she crafted her leadership and organizational development skills at various private, government, and non-profit organizations in Florida, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon and Texas. She is former CEO of two nonprofits and a county and city government executive who has successfully planned, managed, and executed several enterprise-wide, complex organizational restructuring efforts using organizational design and change management theory, employee engagement, and qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Her leadership and change management approach have produced [sustained] increases in employee morale by up to 10% and company revenue by 17%.

Her successes, failures, lessons and tangible leadership examples interwoven with evidence-based Mental Health First Aid training and Trauma-Informed Leadership & Change Management framework has attracted interest from human resource professionals, trauma-informed training organizations, change management associations, consultants, and national conferences all across the United States.


Dr. Emerick is the host of the [Trauma-informed] Leadership Uncensored podcast, a national speaker on organizational design and change management, and a proven transformational leader who works in partnership with leaders to find innovative solutions to real problems, while placing people at the center of decisions and change. She lends her expertise to the Jacksonville Civic Council as their Senior Director for Public Policy Research and as a part-time faculty member at the University of North Florida.

Originally from the DC / Maryland metropolitan area, she graduated from Frostburg State University with a degree in Health Education. Dawn is a two-time alumnus of the University of North Florida where she received her Master’s in Public Administration and her Doctor of Education Leadership. In 2018, she was accepted into the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Population Health Management graduate program. Dr. Emerick became a Prosci® Certified Change Management Practitioner in 2021 and Certified Mental Health First Aid trainer in 2022. She is also the founder and an active member of the AttaGirl Giving Circle charged with creating a people-powered, philanthropic approach for providing women and their families specialized lifelines to meet their very unique needs, quickly.

Dawn is a member of the SHRM, Association of Change Management, ProfessionalsAssociation of Consultants for Non-ProfitsInternational City/County Managers Association and Engaging Local Government Leaders.

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